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Francois_Dumas

Spotting a real plane wreck from the air-pics

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I joined the Civil Air Patrol about 8 months ago and have been training to become a mission pilot. Probably many don't know that in the US-if you go down in a plane-the CAP is who comes out looking for you. To train as a mission pilot you have to train as the crewmembers first. A CAP crew usually has a pilot, observer, and 1-2 scanners. The "scanners" sit in the backseat and try to locate the target-the observer sits right seat and helps with radios etc. so the pilot can pretty much fly. As you are flying about 800 agl and slowly this is helpful to the pilot who needs to concentrate on flying/avoiding obstacles.The mission these pictures are from (I took them) are a mock mission-but the aircraft wreck is real. We were given a scenerio-an aircraft flying from Toledo to Muskegon, Mi-last heard from near Pontiac Oakland Intl. We were given a "grid" to search-in this case it was a 15 minute x 15 minute grid west of PTK. All the Cap planes are equipped with an Apollo Gps exactly like the Reality XP add on for FS-so using it to enter the grid didn't require much training on my part-I had already trained on FS (thanks reality xp!). You basically on the ground caculate the 4 longitude/lattitude corners of the box of your grid-fly to the first point and then enter kinda like a holding pattern. On this mission we flew 1/2 mile tracks back and forth in the box.What these pictures show is how hard it is to spot and aircraft! Old cars, washing machines, pieces of metal often show up better than this cherokee with the wings seperated!First picture-initial contact-white object in the center just to the NW of the swimming poolSecond-zoom in of the downed aircraft-at this point we get the longitude/lat. coordinates-get a road map out and locate the location-then radio the ground rescue teams with the information so they can rescue the survivors.By the way-the Cap is a volunteer organization run by the USAF and is a great way to fly for free or next to nothing if you are a pilot-and for someone who wants to just fly you can be a scanner/observer on the aircraft with no flying experience required. A great way to help your country (if US) and your fellow pilots in need!http://members.telocity.com/~geof43/Geofdog2.gif

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Very interesting Geofa, thanks for the info. I've always kinda wondered about the CAP, but never really knew anything about it. I'd like to see more anytime you have new pics, info, etc. I can see it's quite a challenge to pick out the wreckage of a small plane.KP

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Cool stuff GeofA. About 6 years ago I put together a similar event with a downed aircraft southeast of Syracuse. The pilots at Noble Air had to find it by flying concentric circles from the last known position. It wasn't that easy, but a few found it.cas

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I've always thought it would be a cool adventure for FS to have an area assigned for you to search for aircraft wreckage or fugitives etc. That would really bring out the best in VFR flying.

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If you look up the Noble Air Boston Hub it might still be there.Cas

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Cool post Geofa! I wanted to join CAP when I was young but never got around to it. I talked my sister (14 yrs old) into joining a couple of months ago. She has already been up 3 times (twice in a cessna, once in a C-130). They told her she could be ready to solo the day she turns 16 if she wants to. I think I will join after I pass my PPL Checkride. Great oppurtunity to get people into aviation.-------------Michael

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I would join if something like that would exist over here... but I am pretty sure it doesn't... :-( I am also not sure I would have recognized that little white speck as a downed aircraft ;-)But boy, what a way to get your flying hours paid for !!!! All of us over here in Europe that love flying are born in the wrong place, I tell ya !! ;-) :-outta Francois :-wave[table border=0 cellpadding=10 cellspacing=0][tr][td valign=bottom" align="center]"At home in the wild"[/td][td valign=bottom" align="center][link:avsim.com/alaska/alaska_052.htm|Don's Alaskan Bush Charters]"Beavers Lead the Way"[/td][td valign=bottom" align="center][link:www.avsim.com/vfr_center/mainpages/vfr_flights_main_page.htm]VFR Flight Center]"Looking Good Outside"[/td][/tr][tr][td valign=top" align="center]http://bfu.avsim.net/sigpics/logo75b.gif[/td][td valign="top" align="left" colspan=2]http://www.fssupport.com/images/moose2.gif[/td][tr][/table]________________________Francois A. "Navman" DumasAssociate Editor &Forums AdministratorAVSIM Online![/bemail: fdumas@avsim.com________________________

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